Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quilting with Liza

My cat, Liza, gets a bit nutty this time of the year. She prefers to be outside, chasing mice and digging in the dirt (especially soft, easy to dig, garden soil in the flower beds). So this time of the year she is restless and a bit neurotic. The other day she came into the sewing room, sat down next to the chair and just sat there looking at me. I stopped and said what can I do for you? She meowed. I got up, thinking she'd run to her dish as usual. Nope, as soon as I was up, she was in my chair. It is not uncommon for her to walk into a room where someone is standing and meow. When you sit down, you are suddenly afflicted with COL- Cat On Lap- a condition which does not allow you to move or do anything until the cat chooses to find a new spot. Since laps are warm, she doesn't get up very often. her favorite spot is under the hoop while I'm hand quilting. What a nice warm cocoon that is- especially when the warm lap is a person suffering from frequent occurrences of "personal summer"!

A few years back, I found a wonderful online community of quilters on Yahoo groups, called "the Quilt Pocket". This weekend we are doing a challenge called "project Iron Quilter", inspired by the challenge of the same name at the Tompkins County Quilt Guild show last fall. They did it as a fund raiser, where well-known area quilters had three hours to make a quilt, which was then sold at auction. I made the supply list:
ONE focus fabric
FOUR to SIX coordinates(these can be scraps) You MUST include one stripe and one piece of orange
One piece of an unusual fabric, such as a lame, sheer, or lace
Embellishments such as beads, buttons, old jewelry, yarns, etc
Threads to match, including quilting threads

A scrap of batting large enough for a quilt to finish at 9” x 12”
Backing fabric
Tomorrow I will post the "rules" for the challenge:
You may do whatever you like with your fabrics as long as you include the following:
You MUST use the stripe, the orange and the unusual fabric in your piece. (they should be recognizable sized pieces)
You MUST "Insert" at least once in the construction of your piece.
Assuming that many of them do not know how to do an "insertion", here is a short tutorial.
( I apologize for any confusion caused by poor picture placement. I am still learning how this works.)
Cut strips in various widths to be inserted.

Make a random slash in the background fabric.

Align the edges and sew

Press toward inserted strip.

Align strip with background, offset slightly to maintain straight edges.

Press toward inserted strip.

Continue adding strips, cutting at parallel, or varying angles.

Insert strips across the first set if desired.

Careful alignment is required to keep all the inserted strips in a straight line. (but the piece may be more interesting if they don't!)

Ok, we'll see how this looks when I hit "publish"

This week I am grateful for:
A son who can admit he was a jerk
The fan I paid 79 cents for at Salvation Army a couple of years ago
The luxury of being able to hit the snooze alarm a couple of extra times
The end of February, and the robins in my back yard the other day- both are signs of spring (even if it's still a month away)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I did it again

I forgot to be grateful again in my last post. Strange that I keep forgetting this in my posts. I begin each day by making an entry in my gratitude journal. It is a way to draw positive energy to you- and maybe eventually stop focusing on the negative things in our daily lives.

On that note, I was on my way to teach a class last Saturday morning and had gotten a bit frazzled on my way out the door. So- not wanting to bring that with me into the class, I did a bit of creative visualization in the car and imagined that negativity draining away from me as I drove down the road. But it made me wonder- where did it go after that? It started a whole thought process on the fact that so many of us forget to see the good things around us. We feel the negative more than the positive- at least I know I do. So we are creating this negative energy. Could that be where so many of the problems in the world come from? I know how nutty that makes me sound. I don't care. Isn't it amazing to think that if more people focused on the good things in the world, there might be MORE of them???? That is power!!!

So, today I wrote in my journal that I am grateful for having too many choices of what to wear- even when I don't want to wear any of it. ( I am having hot flashes with some regularity and it is SO hard to know what may give me some level of comfort during and after.)
I am grateful for a husband who wants to know what time to expect me home from my travels because he worries about me
I am grateful that my stepson and I can have a nice chat on the phone when he calls for his dad. who isn't home.
I'm even grateful for the long winter season we have here. (I get more sewing done in the winter.)
And, as always, I am grateful for being able to count so many wonderful people as friends!

Since I like blogs with pictures, I am including an inspiration photo. Just something pretty to look at.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sew, what's new?

Sorry for the punny title. I heard one of those jokes this morning and it has me thinking in puns now.

This week has been much less busy- and far more satisfying- than the last one. It began on Sunday before the Superbowl when I found the time to get most of the rest of the quilting done on my dandelion quilt.

And wasn't that a GREAT game? Finally- a Superbowl that lived up to its name. And who will ever forget the picture of Drew Brees holding his baby son with tears in his eyes?

So, anyway, I finished the piece on Monday, just in time to take to the meeting of my little art group on Tuesday. (We will have a better name someday) This was started in a class I took last June with Jane Sassaman. It is based on a picture I took in the lawn here on campus. The blue flowers are a form of Speedwll, I think. My own yard is much the same, so I am thinking fo titling this piece, "Weeds? No, that's our Lawn".

The art group is preparing for our first show in July. One piece we are working on as a group is a picture of a convulvulus flower that we chopped apart. Here are the finished sections so far tacked up on my design wall. Aren't they fabulous?!!!

Another new addition in my sewing world is an old dress form I am calling Edith. She is wearing a dress I would guess to be close to 90 years old. I would love to replicate the dress- isn't it glorious? Sadly, it has some rot on it due to the fact that special care fabrics were not laundered back then, but only aired out. (Kind of disgusting when you think about it)

Currently I am working on the teaching samples for a class this weekend. After that I should start working on the next shop sample. But a flash of inspiration hit this morning for my section of the flower, so all bets are off.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I realized a couple of days ago that my last post failed to mention anything I am grateful for. So here are some things from the past week.
I am grateful the problem with my car was minor
I am grateful my husband and his siblings had no major battles while cleaning out their mom's house
I am grateful the snow didn't fall here while he was away- leaving me to battle the snow blower. (but now I think the south has Paid their dues and the snow should leave them alone for a while. :-)
I am grateful that I have gotten some good sleep the last few nights.
I am grateful for the day I got to spend at my best friend's house.
I am grateful for the time I spent on a project just for me. (maybe having less of that time makes it sweeter?)
And believe it or not, I'm grateful for having too much to do. I cannot imagine how it would feel to have no way to mark the passing hours besides the chiming of the clock.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An unproductive week

I have been terribly busy the last week, but haven't accomplished a darned thing. My friend Aileen recently coined a word for this kind of week; anti-gress. Makes sense, if progress is getting things done, right?
Last weekend I was doing demos on the paintstik stenciling at Mt Pleasant during the "winter Thaw" sale- which ironically took place on three of the most wintry days we've had this year! I took the fabric which will be the background for the next Scrap Therapy sample I'll be making, the "Fly Away" quilt. Since I had to show people how to do it, I figured I'd make it something I could use. I had fun with it, trying things and layering the techniques. It almost seems a shame to cut up this fabric.
I also tried it on a couple other fabrics. Using the rubbing plates on a dark fabric almost seems like making my own custom batik prints. I can't wait to do some more of this one!

This week, I have been very busy getting the Guild's challenge display set up and the prizes awarded. It is done now and I will soon be able to hand over the baton to the next runner in this marathon. (Thanks, Sharon!)

Yesterday I changed the display in my own "quilt Gallery. I have a nice hallway where I hang seasonal wall hangings. This is the February/ Valentine's day set. The one on the right is kind of "one of these things is not like the others". It is floral fabrics quilted with hearts, so along with sort of fitting the theme, it allows me to dream of springtime.

My hubby had the sad task of cleaning out his mother's house last week. His sisters were with him and put random things into a box for me. Among them were these pins and bits of jewelry. Won't they be fun to play with???